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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 29, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/29/17 05/29/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: frorom pacacifica a this is , democracy now! >> we are in these two eraras in which the possibility of human survival is very much at stake. amy: in this democracy now! special, we spend the hour with the world renowned linguist and dissident noamhohomskyn ththe twin threats of climate change and nuclear war. we will talk about north korea, iran, and syria. plus, , we ask him about the trp
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administration''s threats to prosecute wikileaks founder julian assange. >> if the charge is true, he should be -- chelsea manning and carried outen heheroic, courageous actcts. they fulfilled t the responsibilityty of someone who takekes citizenship seriously.y. that believes the people of this country ought to know about -- amy: noam chomsky for the hour in a public conversation i had with him in cambridge, massachusetts. all that and more, coming up. amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in this democracy now! special , we spend the hour with the world-renowned linguist and political dissident noam chomsky. in a public conversation we had in april, we talked about climate change, nuclear weapons, north korea, iran, the war in syria and the trump , administration's threat to
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prosecute wikileaks founder julian assange. we also talk about noam chomsky 's new book, "requiem for the american dream: the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & power." hundreds o of people packed into the first parish church in cambridge, massachusetts for our , public conversation. i wanted to ask you about this comment that you made that thehe republicican party, you said, is the most dangerous organization in world history. cambridge, can you explain? >> i also said that it's an extremely outrageous statement. but the question is whether it's true. i mean, has there ever been an organization in human history that is dedicated, with such commitment, to the destruction of organized human life on earth? not that i'm aware of. is theepublicann organizationn -- i hesitate toto call it a pay
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-- committeded to thatat? overwhelelngly. there isn't even any q question about it. take a look at the last t primay campaign. plenty of puicity, verery little commenent on the most signgnifit fact. every single candidate either denied that what is happening is happening -- namely, serious move towards environmental catastrophe -- or there were a couple of moderates, so-called -- jeb bush, who said, "maybe it's happening. we really don't know. but he doesn't matter because fracking is working fine, so we can get more fossil fuels." then there was the guy who was called the adult in the room, john kasich, the one person who said, "yes, it's true. global warming is going on. but it doesn't matter." he is the governor of ohio.
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"in ohio, we're going to go on using coal for energy, and we're not going to apologize for it." so that's 100% commitment to racing towards disaster. then t take a look at what has hahappened since. november 8 was the election. there was, as most o of you kno, i'm sure, a very i important conference underway in morocco -- marrakech, morocco. almost roughly 200 countries at the united nations-sponsored conference, which was -- the goal of which was to put some specific commitments into the verbal agreements that were reached at paris in december 2015, the preceding international conference on global warming.
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the paris conference did intend to reach a verifiable treaty, but they couldn't because the most dangerous organization in human history. the republican congress would not accept any commitments, so therefore, the world was left with verbal promises, but no commitments. well, last november 8, they were going to try to carry that forward. on november 8, in fact there was , a report by the world meteorologicalal organization, a very d dire analysis of the stae of the envirironmentnt and the likely prospects, , also pointed out that we are coming perilously close to the tipping point, where -- which was the goal of the -- the goal of the paris negotiations was to keep things below thahat -- coming vy close to it, and other ominous predictions. at that t point, the confeferene
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pretty much stopped because the news came in about the election. and it turns out that the most powerful countntry in human history, the richest, most popowerful, most influential, te leader of the free world, has just decided not only not to support the efforts, but actively to undermine them. so there's the whole world on onone side, literally, at least trying to do something or other, not enenough mbe, althoughgh soe places are going pretty fafar, like denmarkrk, couple of other. on the other side, in splendid isolation, is the country led by the most dangerous organization in human history, which is saying, "we're not part of this. in fact, we're going to try to undermine it." we are going to maximize the use of fossil fuels -- could carry us past the tipping point. we are n not going t to provide funding for -- as commmmitted dn
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paris, to developing countries ththat are tryrying to do sometg about the climate problems. we are going to dismantle regulationons that retard the impact, the devastating g impac, of production ofof carbon dioxie and, in fact, other dangerous gases -- m methane, othe.. ok. so the c conference kind of prey much came to a halt. the question -- it continued, the question was can we salvage , something from this wreckage? and pretty amazingly, thee countries of the world were looking for salvation to a different country -- china. here we have a world looking for salvation to china, of all places, when the united states is the wrecking machchine that s threatening destruction, in -- with all three branches of
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government in the hands s of the most dangerous organization n in human history. and i don't have to go through but has happened since, the -- in general, the cabinet appointmtments are designed to - assigned to people whohose cocommitment and beliefs are tht it is necessary t to destroroy everything in their department that could be of anyny use to human beings a and would not jut increase profits and power. and they are doing it very systematically, one after another. epa, environmental protection agency, has been very sharply cut. actually, the main department that is concerned with environmental issues is the department of energy, which also had very sharp cuts, particularly in the environment-related programs. in fact, there is even a ban on
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posting and publishing infoformation and material about this. and this is not just at the national level. threpublicanan party, whatever you want to callll it, has beenn doing this at every level. so in north carolina, a couple of years ago, where the lelegislature, mostly thanks to gerrymandering, is in the hands of the repubublicans, there wasa study. they called fofor a stududy on e effefect of sea levell risee --n what sea level rise mighght be o the north carolina coast. and there was a serious scientific study, which predicted -- i forget how many years -- not a long time, , abot roughlhly a meter rise in sea level, which could be devastating to eastern nororth carolina. and the legislature did rereact, namely, by passising legegislatn to ban any actions or evenen
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discussion that might have to do with climate change. actuallyly, the best comment of this - -- i wish i could quote t verbatim -- was by stephen colbert, w who said, "if you hae a serious problem,m, the way to deal with itit is to legislalate that it doesn't exist. problem solveded." this i is going on all over r te country. and it is not just -- it is not simply climate change. that is but enough.. but there's anotother huge specr that we are kind of trying to survive under, and that is nuclear war. that i is a whole other story. here, both the obama administration and, increasingly, trump are radically increasing that danger. this -- the ththreat of the new developments is captured very
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effectively in the best, simple monitor of the state of the worlrld, established at t the beginning of the nuclear age by the bulletin of atomic scientists. i'm sure you all about this, but the bulletin of atomic scientists regularly b brings together a group of f scientist, political analysts, other very serious people, to try to give some kind of estimimate of what the sisiation of t the world is. the ququestion is, how closese e we to termination of the spspecies? anand they have e a clock, the doomsday clock. when itt hits s midnight, we are finished. end of the h human species and much else. and the question every year is how far is the minute hand from , midnight? well, at the beginning, in 1947, beginning of the nuclear age, it was placed at seven minutes to midnight.
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it has been n moving up and back ever since. the closest it has come to midnight was 1953. 1953, the united states and russia bototh exploded hydrogen bombs, whihich are extremely seserious threreat to survivala. intercontinental ballistic missiles were all being developed. this, in fact, was the first serious threat to the secucurity of the united states. there is an interesting story behind that but i i will put it asidee unless ththere is t timeo talk a about it. but then, it c came to two minus to midnight. and it has been moving up and back since. two years ago -- 201014, i think it was -- the analysts took into account for the first time something that have been ignored
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-- the f fact that the nuclear e -- the beginningng of the nucler agage coincided with the beginng of a new geological epoch, the so-called anthropocene. there has been some debate about the epoch in which human activity is drastically affecting the general environment. there has been debate about its inception. but the world geological organization has rececently determined t that it's a about e same time e as thehe beginningnf the nuclear age. so we are in these two eras in which the possibility of human survival is very much at stake, and with us everything else, , too, of course, all living -- most livining things, which are already under vevery sevevere threreat. wellll, a couple of years ago -i think it was 2 2014 ---- the bulletetin began to take that io account and moved the minunute hand up to t three minutes to
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midnight where it remained last year. about a week into trump's term, the clock was moved again, to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight. that is the closest it has been since 1953. and that means extermination of the species is very much an -- very much an open question. i i don't want to say it is soly the impact of ththe republican party -- obviously, that is false. but they certainly are in the lead in openly advdvocating and working for destruction of t the human species. i agree that is a very outrageous statement. so why, therefore, simply suggest that you take a look at the facts and d see if it has ay merit or if it just should be bitterly condemned. that's it to you. my view, the facts are pretty
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clear. amy: at this point, as president trump nears his 100th day, north korea anand iran have been a mar focus. are you concerned that with the president at the lowest popularity ratining, i think, in any president's history at this point, that he will focus abroad, as he has in the last few weeks, dropping the moab, the "mother of all bombs," in afghanistan, bombing the syrian governmentnt, and yet focusing specifically on north korea and iran. in north korea, mcmaster, geneneral mcmaster, the natitiol security adviser, saying tensions with north korea are coming to a headad. do you think there is a possibility that the u.s. would
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attack north korea? >> i i mean, this administstratn is extremely unpredictable. trump probably has no o idea wht he's's going to o do five minuts from now, see you can't -- literally. so you can't really make predictions with much confidenence, but i doubt it vey much. the reason is very simple. an attack on north korea would unleash -- no matter what attack it is, even a nuclear attack, would unleash massive artillery bombardment of seoul, which is the biggest city in south korea, right near the border, which would wipe i it out, including plenty of american troops. mean, i'm no-- i technical expert, but as far as i can -- as i read and can see, there's no defense against that. furthermore, north korea could retaliate against american bases in the region where there is plenty of american soldiers and
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so on, also in japan. they would be devastated. north korea would be finished. so would much of the region. but if attacked, presumably, they would respond, very likely. in fact, the responses might be automatic.c. mcmaster, at least, and mattisis undersrstand this. how muchch influenence they have don't know. so i think an attack is unlikely. bubut the rereal question is, is there a way of dealing with the problem? there are a lot of proposals -- sanctions, a big new missile defense system, which is a major threat to o china. it will increase tensions thehe. threats of various kinds, sending an aircraft carrier the vinson, to north , korea, except by accident -- it happened to be going in the opposite direction, but we'll forget that. but these e are -- those are the
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proposals, that kindnd of proposals, as to how to solve. actually, there's one proposal that is ignored. i i mean, you see a mention ofot nonow and then. it is a a pretty simple proposo. remember, the goal is to get north korea toto freeze its weapons syststems, weapons and missile e systems. so one proposal is to accept their offer toto do that. sosounds simple. they've made a proposasal. china a and north korea proposod to freeze the north korean missile anand nuclear weonons systems. and ththe u.s. insnstantly rejed it. and d you can't blame that on trump. obobama did the same thing a couple of years ago.o. same offer was presented. i think it was 2015. the obama administration instantly rejected it. and the reason is that it calls for a quid pro quo. it says, in return, the united statates shoululd put an end t o
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threatening military maneuvers onon north korea's borders which , happen to include, under trump, sending of nuclear-capable b-52's flying right near the border. now, maybe americans don't remember very well, but north koreans have a memory of not too long a ago when nortkorea wawas absolulutely flatteneded, liter, by american bombing. there was -- there was literally no tgets left.t. and i really urge people w hahave not done it to read the official american military histories, the air quarterly review, the military histories describing thi they describe it very vivividly and accuratetely. ey say, "thehere just wen'tt any targets left. well, we decided to attack the
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dams, the huge dams. that's a a major war crime. peoplele were hanged f for it at nuremberg.g. but put t that aside. and then comeses an ecstatic, gleefuful description of the bombing of the dams and ththe he flfl of water, w which wasas wig out vavalleys and destroroying e rice crop, on which asians depend for survival -- lots of racist c comment, but all with exaltation and glee. you really have to read it to appreciate i it. the north koreans don't t have o bother readiding it. they lived it. so when nuclear-capable b-52s are flying on their border, along with other threatening military maneuvers, they're kind of upset about it. strange people. and they continue to develop what they see as a potential deterrent that might protect the regime from -- and the country, in fact -- from destruction.
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this has nothing at all to do with w what you think about the government. so maybe it is the worst government in human history. ok. but these are still the facts that exist. therere are similar r questionso raise about iranan. so iraran is, yoyou know, the -- agagain, the adults in the room, like mattis and so on, say it's the greatest threat to peace, you know, the greatest sponsor of terrorism, on and on. how is it a sponsor of terrorism? well, could go through that. so, for example, in yemen, it'ts claimed that they are providing some aid to rebel tribesmen, houthi tribesmen, in yemen. ok, maybe they are. what is the united states doing in yemen? it is providing a huge flood of arms to its saudi arabian ally, who are destroying the country, who have created a huge
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humanitatarian crisis.s. huge n numbers of people killed, massive starvation. they are threatening now to bomb a port, which is the only source of aid for surviviving people. but iran is the major source of terrorism. professor emeritus noam chomsky in a public conversation we recorded in april at the first parish church in cambridge, massachusetts. when we come back we will talk about syria, wikileaks, and more. ♪ [music break]
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amy: patty smith singing at the riverside church in new york. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we returned to my public conversation with the acclaimed linguist and dissident noam chomsky, recorded in april at the first parish church in cambridge, massachusetts. hundreds of people packed into the church. i last interviewed you on april 4, jusa few weekeks ago, on democracy now! it was the 50th anniversary of dr. king giving his "beyond
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vietnam" speech, why he opposed the wawain vietnamam, where he called the u.s. "the greatest purveyor of violence in the woworld." and i wantnted to turn from norh korea and iran to syria. it w was the day of the gas attk in syria, so we didn't get to talk about it vevery much. and i'm wowondering your thoughs on what you think happened, and then the ensuing u.s. bombing that president trump would later talk about, saying he was having chocolate cake witith the chchie president -- very, very good chocolate cake -- when t they launchched the tomahawawk missis into iraq, he said. and he was corrected by the interviewer -- right? who said it was actually syria. >> it is all about the same. there are some things we know for sure. there was a serious chemical weapons attack.
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nobody doubts that. it is plausible that it was the syrian govovernment,t, which dos raise some questions. it is not so obvious why the assad regime would have carried out a chemical warfare attack at a moment when it's pretty much winning the war. and the worst danger it faces is that a counterforce will enter to undermine its progress. so it does raise some questions. it also -- even though maybe you can think up some reason why the assad regime, which is a murderous, brutal regigime, migt have done it. there is even another question as to why the russians would have allowed it. now, remember, this is a a -- te air base is a joint russian-syrian base. russia has plenty of clout in syria. and for themem, it's a total disaster. they have global concerns, not just local concerns in syria. so there are some concernsns.
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and there are furtrther concern. there has beenen -- the white house did put out a careful -- you know, a justification, an inintelligence repeport to expln and account for ---- showing why they had absololute confidence that it was a syrian government atattack. this was analyzed closely by a very sererious and credible analyst ththeodore postol, professor at m.i.t., whoho has a long record of highly successful, credibible analysis. he is a highly regarded stratetegic analyst and inintelligence ananalyst. and he gave a pretty devastating critique of the white house report. you mimight -- you can p pick ip online and take a look at it. so there certainly are some questions. that there's -- that syria is capapable of a monrorous act lie
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that, the syrian g government, that much h is not in doubt. but one e question that t arise, before doing something, could you find out what happened? ok? i mean, let'ss have an inquiry, take a look and see what in n ft actualally happened. therere are plenty of caseses we things -- where it looked as though thihings happppened, buty didn't. but remember, reporting from syria isis extremely difficult.. if reporters go into the rebel-held areas and don't do what thehey are told you know, t , your head cut off. patrick cocockburn and others he written about this. you just can't seriously repepot from those areas. there are obvious questions when you are reportiting from the gogovernment side. so the reporters are -- there are very good reporters doing a serious, courageous s job, but there's not much you can do. so we just don't know a lot.
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well, those are the circumstances in which the 59 tomahawk missisiles were launch. that's pretty easy. it's easy to sit in washington and push a button and say, "go kill somebody." that's considered courage, you know, macho, showing how strong we are. what did they actually do? well, apparently, the tomahawk missiles were targeting a part of the airfield that doesn't't seemem to be used. and, in fact, the next day, planes were taking off. and, in fact, the village that was attacked by the chemical weapons has been even n more heavily attacked by straight bombing g from the a assad government after the 5 59 tomahk missileses. so whatever they werere intended to do doesn't seem to have ananything to o do with syriria. i suspspect thatat what they wee intended to do was pretty much what you described, to shore up
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trump's imimage as -- i think it was nikki haley at the u.n., said, "there's a new sheriff in town." so now we have got wyatttt earp, you know, pulling out his gun and getting rid of thehe bad gu. nono more of this soft stuff.. so it was probably an attempt to shore e up that image. pretetty much like the bomb b in afghanistatan. nobody knows what it was for, what it hahad to dwithth. probably destroyeded a large ptt of afghanistan. shortltly after that, ththere wa mass -- anan incredibly brutal d succccessful taliban attacack, h killed a couple hundred recruits, most of them unarmed. the young draftees didn't know what they were doing. it was so bad, the defenense minister resigned. doesn'n't seem to have any effet on -- it was supposedly aimed at isis. maybe it was. maybe it wasn't. they don't seem to be affected by it. so these look like -- there
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dodoesn't seem to be any stratec analysisis behind any of these acactions, as far as a anyone cn tell. they seem m like kind of about t the level of the twitters that keep coming out. something that kind of occurs to me, so why not do it? it's cheap. it may kill a lot of people, makes me look goodod and, youu know, makes it seem m as if i'm defefending the country, and so on. it is s hard to sesee it as anyg but that.. at these t things help the people of syria and d iraq is vy hard to imagine. amy: what do you think has to be done to solve the crisis, the humanitarian catastrophe, in syria? >> it's a terrible catastrophph. unfortunately, there isn't a lot that can be done about it. there are some things that can be done. i mean, the idea that you can send in the marines and bomb and so on, that has a small problem. if youou do, you p probably setf
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a nuclear war. and not onlylys syria dedestroy, the rest of syria, but the rest of the world, too. so there is a little difficulty in that scenario, whatever one thinks about the justification for it. so what can be done? well, one ththing thatat can be done, which is really easy, very easy, is to take care of the people fleeing from ththis disaster. i mean, , there are huge numbers of people fleeing fromom the disaster. what do we do abouout them? make s sure they d don't t come, you know, kikind of like p peope fleeining from -- you know, my relatives, in fact, fleeing, easterned to flflee from europe under the -- before when the nazis were comining along. "we don't want 'em. not here." you know. so the syrians don't come -- maybe a a tiny trickckle, but vy few come here. europe's notot that muchch bett-
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inin fact, pretthohorrible, tot. so one thihing you couould do is just take care of f the people o are fleeing the disaster. another thing you can do is provide humaninitarian aidid for ththose in the region. now, there are c countries who e absorbining refugees, , remembe, like take lebanon. it is not a rich country like us. poor country. about 40% of the population are refugees, many of them fleeing as fare israeli wars back a starting 48. many -- huge number of syrians. jordan, another poor country, has absorbed a huge number of refugees. turkey has a couple of million. iran has accepted refugees. so there are very -- thehere are poor countntries that are accommodating refugees, but not the rich countries.. the rich countries, it's s not r business, certainly not usus. it's even a more sererious probm with regard -- for us, moral
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problem, with regard to central america, but let's keep to syria. so another thing you could do is provide badly needed aid and assistance for those who have succeeded in fleeing the disaster, or who remain in parts of syria where survival is possible, , but are living under horrible condition now, that's all cheap and eaeas, a tiny fraction n of increasing the military budget to cause more destruction. amy: noam, i wanted to, before we get to your book, your latest book, ask you about this latest development in the united states. the director of the central intelligenence agency gave his first major address, and he focused on wikileaks. and it looks like now the u.s. is preparing an arrest warrant for julian assangege, who's bebn holed up in the ecuadorean embassy in london for almost five years now.
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pompeo calling wikileaks a "hostile non-state intelligence service," calling julian assange himself a "demon," and said he's not protected by the first amendment. your thougugs? >> well, i think it speaks for itself. wikileaks has released lots of information that governments don't like. it's overwhehelmingly informatin that citizens should have. it is information about what their governments are doing.g. and perfectly natural that systems of power don't want to be exposed, so they'll do what they can to prprevent exposure. i think it is a disgracefulul a. in fact, i think it's disgraceful even to keep julian assange holed up in the ecuadorean embassy.
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i did visit him there once, but you can n guess yourselflf. it is, in many ways worse than , imprisonment. at least if you are in prison you can see other prisoners, and , you can get out and look at the sunshine now and then. in a small apartment where he cannot go out. he can go to the balcony, but that's about it. a small -- basically, a couple of rooms inside a small apartment.t. itit's not a b big embassy. the embassy is like a kind of an apartment in london, surroroundd by police and so on. there has been no credible basis for any of this.s. and to go on to try to raise it to the level of crcriminal prosecutions, i think, is, again, one of these efforts to look tough at t home. and the kind of effort that a government would carry o out tht is dedicated to trying to
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protect itseself from exposure f facts that c citizens should ha, but systems of power don't want them t to have. i think that's the crucial issue. amy: the suggestions are it has to do with his aiding and abetting perhaps chelsea manning and also edward d snowden. doing that with edward s snowde, which he openly admits, while he's trapped in the ecuadorean embassy. >> if the charge is true, he should be honored for it. chelsea manning and edward snowden carried out heroic, courageous acts. they fulfilleded the responsibility of somebody whoho takes citizezenship seriously -- that is, who believes that the people of a country ought to know something about whahat ther governrnment is up to.o.
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ok? lilike if their government is carrying out murderous, brutal attackcks in iraq, people e shod know about it. takes us back to martin luther king's talk in 1967. if the government is, and corporations, too, incidentally, are listening in to your telephone conversations and what you are doing, you know, tapping this discussion and so on, we shouould know about it. governments have no right to do things like that. and people should know about it. and if they y think it is ok, fine, let them decide. not do it in secreret. and i think people wouldn't agree to it.t. that's why it's kept secret. why elelse keep it sececret? you know? and these e are people who expod it at great risk to themselves. so those are heroic, courageous acts. if wikileaks was abetting them, more powower to them. that's what they should be doing. amy: i mean, president trump endorsed wikileaks, right?
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he said, "i love wikileaks," during the campaign. >> yeah, when it was releasing things that he liked, yeah. any system of power will do that. "you release information that i like, it is great. but i don't want to be exposed." amy: professor noam chomsky in conversation in april at the first parish church in cambridge, massachusetts. when we come back, he will talk about the media's coverage of the trump administration and his new book "requiem for the american dream: the 10 prprinciples of concentration of wealth & power." we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we return to our public conversation with the acclaimed linguist and dissident noam chomsky recorded in april at the first parish church in cambridge, m massachusetts. speaking of entities that president trump does not like, he calls the press the enemy of the people.
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the enemy of the people. can you assess as the media assesses, the media's behavior? >> i think media has bent over backwards to give him some protection and leeway. there are some things thatat are so ludicicrous and outrarageoust a reporter simply can't keep from saying something about them. like there is one ridiculous claim after another that comes know, 3he tweets, you million illegal indictment refugees voted foror clinton, obama wiretapped the trump tower , you know, one after another. my sense is that this is a media strategy. that it is the bannon trump
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spicer strategy to try to keep the one orocused on another form of lunanacy, but nt look at what is actually happppening. what is actually happening is that paul ryan and his associates behind the scenes are systematically and carefully dismantling evevery elemement of government that is of any benefit to people and that doesn't maximize corporate power and profit. i mean, the dedicication of t te republblican leadership, especially the ryan-type leadership, their dedication to slavish servility to corporate power and wealth, it's just phenomenal. i mean, read this morning's business pages. their latest step is to prevent exposure of complaints against
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banks that carry out improper activivities. it is possible now, thahanks to the consumer protection act, for people to criticize when they somome bankk has varied out improper activivity. but we have to keep that silent because we have to protect corporations from m y exposurere of criminal activities they might carry out. i mean, down to that level -- in fact, everywhere you look, the health carare proroposal was so propoposalat it was a basically to cut taxes for the rich and to ensure that the poor and middle class people, people don't get medical aid. the congressional budget office estimated 24 million additional
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peoplele u uninsureded. healthan analysis by specialists just studying the relationship between lack of insurance and death's. there is funny of evidence about that. it turns out that would have been about 45,5,000 additional dedeaths a year. with that is ok as long as you cut taxes for the rich. in step by step, that is what is happening behind the facade of anticsmpisms and spicer bebefore the press. the prpress is pretty much fallg for it. that is what they focus on, not what is in cararried out. there is, of course, criticism -- mild criticism of outrageous lies, but i think that just plays the game. that is what the lies are for. then y you can yell ababout the
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libeberal press that is trying o undermine us. this couountry desperate efforto keep a con game going. trump does have a base -- a voter r base. he is kicking them in the face with abandndon. and the idea is, how do you hold onon to them while you are doing this? it is not an easy trick. and this i think is part of the con. there are people in n the press are pointing it out. paul krugman for one. but nothing like it should be. amy: which takes us to your latest book, "requiem, for the american dream" were you talk about the 10 principles of the concentration of power and wealth, how it is happening, what to watch out for. creswell, creredit for the 10 principles should go to producers of the film. what they did was take a lot of
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interviews and discussions about all sorts of t things and put tm and, i think,k, pretty effective form,m, includg formulating 10rinciples -- that's their contribution, including material that discusses. you can look at the film or the book, but my feeling is they did a really good job.. amy: so the book is accompanying film that is not out on netflix. it you talk about, for example, principle 1, reducing democracy. to them, shaping ideology, three, redesigning economy. growth part of a pretty remarkable development taking place in human history. humans in the last 60 or 70 years, have s succeeded in
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creating a kind of a perfect -- literally. movement we have created. two major attacks on the prospects for survival, global warming, nuclear weapons, anthropocene, nuclear age, and the ththd is set o of socioeconomic policies designed to undermine prospects of dealing with problems. the problems could be doubt with only in a functioning democracy whongaged, informedonly in a pe could make decisions, who would be informed and make decisions to deal with the crises. but the so-called d neoliberal programs of ththe past generati,
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sort of somewhat market-oriented programs d designed to undermine governmental and popular institutions that might deal with these issues, all a unit. one result is a very significant decline in democracy. you can see it, whwhich is a mut built into the policies. it is perfectly -- you can't cacarry out economic policies of the type that have been implemented in thehe past generation in a functioning democracy. that is impossible. take a look at the n numbersrs. ,he neoliberal programs basically, taking off right around 1980. --alated under late carter started under carter, escalated under reagan, more under clinton and soso on. the peak of supposed
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success. this was right before the crash. a lot of euphoria among analysts , economists about the great achievements of the neoclassic economics, the great moderation, dismantling off regulations. all of these great successes. 2007. what was happening to american working people at that time? in 2007, wages were lower than had been in 191979 when the experiment took off. in fact, for the majority of the population, it is a period of stagnation or decline. hadbenenefits decline. people -- some of the reasons were explained by alan
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greenspan, head of the federalal reserve -- was in charge pretty much of managing the economy. he testified to congrgress that part of f the success o of the econonomy -- low inflationon ano on -- was due to what he called owining worker insecurity. insecure.ople were they were intimidated. they knew that they were a dangerous -- in a dangerous sisituation, precarious situati. as a resulult, they did not t ps for increase in wages -- decent wages and benenefits. they were willing g to accept effective decline in the living standards. and greenspan, who is a close observer of the economy, pointed out that this continued even in thebs were increasing late clinton period. it w was deeply embedded in the nature of the policies beining carried out that workrking peope arare intimidated, living
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precarious lives. many of them are part-time. they're losing security. there unions are being destroyed. and their wages are d declining. so it is a all great. the economy is vertically healthy. can you carry out polilicies lie that in n a democracy? are e people goioing to vote fo? the sameme in europe, even worse in many ways. the so-calalled austerityy programs. eveven the economists of the international -- the imf, international monetary fund, their own economists report these policies make no economic sense. but the imf bureaucrarats, the once were part of the decision-making apparatus, they votete for them. the effect on europe is the same thing as far as democracy is concerned.d. just like in the uniteted state, there is anger, contempt for major -- - for the major governg
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is thetutions system here congress, , there is political parties. you just saw it in france yesterday, the teat of major parties word barely visible in the election.n. it is happening alall over euru. the same thing that is happening here. here it is happening in a way which is almost farcical because of the kind of actions carrrried out by the leadershihip. in europe, it t is being pursued in a way which is really ominous. i mean, you don't have to look whenack toto find a time fascisist parties actually had power in europe. and we know what happened. and now there are neofascist parties. ,hich are pretty close to power even in places like austria and germany, whihich have someme memories - -- france as well was under the nazis was very
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prpro-nazi country, rounding up jews faster than germans w want. really ugly record. in seeing these things come back, or just sing a situation in which, according to recent polls,s, a majority off europeas think there should be no more muslims in europe.e. that evokes some memories. nonot nice o ones. you cannot attribute it all to neoliberal economic policies,, e but a lot of it does follow from that. when you impose on people circrcumstances of thihis kind,u haveve to makeke sure they haveo way of responding politically. in europe, it t is done e pretty straightforwardly. the main decisions abouout socioeconomic polilicies are mae by the so-called troika -- imf, european central bank, and the
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european commission, which is unelected. so t three unelected bodies. they make the decisions. they do listen to voices, voices of t the northern banks -- momoy german banks. and the e people suffer. they are angry, frightened, often reacting in dangerous ways. we see similar phenomena here. so to go back to the pincers movement, what is happening as we havee created two huge e thrs to survival. we have systematically -- not you andd me, but the leadership has created socioeconomic policies which have, as a consequence, almost immediate consequence the undermining of functioning democracy of the one thing that might deal l with disasters. like i said, a kind of perfect storm. a row credit to the human species to have contrived
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something like this. mikko principle four, shift the burden onto the poor in the middle classes. attack with solidarity of the people. six, let special interests run regulators. seven, engineer election results. eight, use fear and power of the state to keep the rabble in line. >> is it necessary to comment? [laughter] consent is manufacture in principle 10 is marginalize the population. > in fact, that is exactly yt is happenining. there is a reason for it. you cannot carry out the kinds of policies that have been developed in the last generation and have the population function democraticallyly. in europe, you can't get people to vote for pololicies which are undermining their lives, which
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are leaving -- especially younger people -- without any hopes of decent employment, which are driving people to precarioious existence is, which are underminining wages, reducig benefits. in england right nowow, undermining,g, thrhreatening wht had been the world's most -- by far ththe world's most effective and efficient health system. you can't get people to vote for things like this, so you have to marginalize them and turn them against each other. turn their anger against vulnerable people. that is standard technique for stop to look at the people who are really d doing this to you. look at the ononce who are more vulnerable. immigrants, the pooror. -- - anybody.s we're familiar with that, too. almosthat -- it is l like
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a logical consequence of the socioecoconomic policies which have been imposed and lauded in fact by elites, including liberal elites. a lot of this was done by the clinton administration. it hailed -- deregulation, for quickly oneled after another to financial crisis. that was initiated by those telling us h how wonderful it i. there is a theory, classical economic theory that says it was fine. there were people who w warned against t it. there were people who knew, a lot of left independent economists. that e even people out of the mainstream, like joseph stiglitz, nobel laureate, back around 1995 or so, he wrote an article -- actually in a world bank research journal in which
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he warned against what he called the religion that the markeket knows best. that is the religigion, as he pt it, , that is being followowed y economists. and he says, you got to take a look at that religion, like a lot of religionsns, it just doesn't work. economic history. logic. shows of lots of things that is wrong about it. but it was pursued with abandon on the basis of theories o of efficient markets, rational behavior, , rational expectatios and someone. nonone of which had any and pure gold bases or founding -- empirical basis or founding, but the doctrines were accepted for the very simple reason they were highly beneficial to wealth and power. that makes them acceptable. you get the results that you hahave.
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the undermining of the onlyy meanss possible to try to deal withth the existential crisis. that we have created. so again, it is a kind of perfect storm. all sorts of sources, including just socioeconomic policies of a bipartisan nature. speaking aprilky 24 at the first parish church in cambridge, massachusetts. professor emeritus at the massachusetts institute of technology. his latest book, "requiem for the american dream." it for today's show. for a dvd copy, you can go to democracynow.org as well as read the transcript or get any video or audio podcast of any of our shows. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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